Tenderly explore wounded places

With pen and paper close by take some quiet time to let a past resentment or hurt fully bloom in your consciousness. Notice how you feel – is your body tense, has your breathing become more rapid?

Now pay attention to what you are telling yourself about what happened. You might hear something like, these things always happen to me or what did I do to deserve that or why is life so unfair? Write down exactly what happened along with all of your questions and feelings. Is there someone you trust that is emotionally healthy enough to explore this with?

As you go over past hurts think about changing the question from why to now what. Asking why can keep you in a position of powerlessness because your focus stays on the person and the pain he or she caused. Asking why is not always useful because you may never be able to come up with a satisfactory answer. Asking now what can be a more helpful question because it puts you in the driver’s seat. Now what reminds you that you can decide where you go and what you do next.

Other questions…

How does it help me to hold onto painful feelings?

How would it help me to let them go? What would it take if I decide to let go?

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Who Do You Think You Are?!

Maybe the question looms large each time you try to step outside your box. Or maybe it is yet unspoken. Lodged deeply in your subconscious mind and blocking any bold ideas before they form into actions. No matter where the question is, for many of us it is there. Finally answering it may be just the encouragement you need to free yourself from the burden of unrealized potential. So…who do you think you are?

Write it now, loud and proud. Claim your gifts as well as your flaws (know what you are working with and what you want to work around). Not sure what to write? Ask someone you trust who knows you well enough (and is emotionally healthy enough) to give you some useful feedback. Embrace the promise within the part of you not bound by doubt, fear, criticism or the voice of the ever vigilant and critical inner commentator. Maybe she does make you feel safer, but she also keeps you away from what is possible.